Read: Psalm 119 (as much as possible in one sitting; it’s worth it!)
Devotionals do not normally begin with technical background information, but Psalm 119 deserves a bit of explanation to help us be more sensitive and receptive to its content.
Long, but organized
Psalms are individual “songs,” not conventional “chapters,” but Psalm 119 is considered the longest “chapter” in the Bible.
But it’s not a bunch of religious rambling; the 22 stanzas (eight verses each) are organized according to the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet, and each verse begins with the same letter.
That may not mean much to us English-only folks, but at least it shows some creative forethought.
Long, but one theme
What should be meaningful to anyone is that, despite being a long “song,” there is one consistent theme: celebration of God’s “law” (“Torah” in Hebrew).
Depending on the translation, there are a variety of words used to refer to the holy principles God has revealed to us; these include “law,” “testimonies,” “precepts,” “statutes,” “commandments,” “rules,” and (not surprising) “word.”
While the specific application varies throughout Psalm 119, the prevailing principle is a desire to know and follow God’s Word.
Long, but lots of application
Even under the umbrella of a unified theme (again, God’s Word), this psalm includes a variety of topics for study and meditation. These include (but are not limited to) “cause and effect” (or “cost-benefit” for those who think in this way), testimony and witness, prayer and supplication, trial and judgement. . .well, let’s see what else you can find.
Over the next few days, we’ll ask you to examine different parts of this psalm and evaluate your own motivation to know and apply God’s principles to your life.
Today, we’ll simply ask: what’s your level of desire for God’s Word in your life?